If during the 1990s the majority of Latin American countries had considerably reduced their military spending, in recent years there has been a progressive increase, with a growth of over 90% in just five years (from 2003 to 2008). mainly in Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil. A large part of this expenditure is earmarked for personnel (pensions and salaries): only a minor part is earmarked for armaments. In terms of military capabilities, Brazil is the most important power in Latin America in terms of number of troops (318,500 units, of which 190,000 in the army alone) and overall military expenditure (according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – S ipri, this would be 35,400 million dollars, about 1.45% of GDPin 2015); significant numbers also in absolute terms, given the absence of both interstate conflicts and serious regional threats. Brazilian military power reflects a defensive attitude and its main tasks have to do with border surveillance (including Amazonian territory) and participation in UN missions. In this sense, it is necessary to recall the leading role assumed by Brazil in the peace mission in Haiti (M inustah), which can also be read as a strategic move to secure a seat on the UN Security Council in the event of reform. The country also sought to play a mediating role in several regional conflicts, such as during the war between Ecuador and Peru in 1995 and during the Paraguayan political crisis of 1996. In 2002, it also offered support to Chávez in his coup attempt.. To protect and control the Amazon, but also to reaffirm its sovereignty over its entire territory, Brazil has developed two surveillance systems to collect data and identify dangerous situations: the Amazon Protection System (S ipam) and the Surveillance system of the Amazon (S ivam). In order to preserve the ecological balance in the Amazon region, Brazil also entered into a bilateral alliance with Guyana in 2013, to establish a relationship of mutual defense and military cooperation on the border. Brazil has also made important progress in the development of the arms industry, in particular for the Tucano and Super Tucano fighter jets. Furthermore, in mid-December 2010, the country carried out the launch (in its territory) of the medium-sized missile V sb30V07, developed with Brazilian technology. The event is of considerable importance in scientific and technological terms, given the experiments (related to microgravity) carried out during the launch and the flight time of the missile, but the potential developments in the military field should not be underestimated. For Brazil defense and foreign policy, please check themotorcyclers.com.
The accounts with the World Cup that has gone and the Olympics to come
The preparations were rather turbulent, the beginning somewhat uncertain but the sporting event of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – beyond the result collected by the Seleçao, the national team – did not reserve any nasty surprises. At the opening of the games there were new protests by small groups of activists and other independent strikes, but these were much less significant episodes than those of the previous year, when, on the occasion of the Confederation Cup 2013, millions of Brazilians took to the streets to demonstrate against the poor quality of public services and the pharaonic expenses faced by the state to host the event. During the championship, the entire logistical organization held up and there were no significant episodes of violence: Brazil’s international reputation is therefore safe. Ended the euphoria of the World Cup and defeated the worries,
A study by the University of Sao Paulo estimated the expenditure to host the 2014 World Cup at 18 billion (against the 11.8 declared by the government) and the expenditure for the 2016 Olympics at 15 billion. 170,000 units were deployed in the country, including army soldiers and policemen, 40 FBI agents, two military drones (supplied by Israel) to fly over the skies and about fifty robotic vehicles supplied by the United States. All this for a total expenditure quantified around 900 million dollars, of which 100 allocated only for the reclamation operations in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. As regards the infrastructural works, an investigation published by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper showed that of the 167 works announced by the government only 68 have been completed, compared to 11 that have been abandoned and 88 that will be completed in the next few years. During the works nine workers lost their lives, while two people died following subsequent infrastructural collapses.
In addition to the building defeats and the high bills, there are episodes of corruption that have tainted the entire organizational bureaucratic machine and in which officials and heads of the ministries of Sport and Tourism have been involved.
The costs and sacrifices incurred are not even easily justified, nor satisfied, in the expected benefits. The rating agency Moody’s and the consulting firm Capital Economics have calculated that investments in airports, public transport and infrastructures are destined to account for just 0.5% of GDP in the next few years, compared to the 1% invested by the government. On the other hand, the flow of incoming tourists was greater than expected, recording an influx of almost one million foreigners, against the expected 600,000.
In Brazil, we are therefore preparing for the great Olympic event with some more construction works, but also with less money in the pockets of the state, disappointing growth rates, higher cost of living and the same problems and contradictions that the World Cup had. temporarily hidden: poverty, educational and health deficiencies, few infrastructures. Perhaps the positive impact of what has been done so far will not be seen in the growth of the GDP, but in a more prudent and aware political class, which will be able to better deal with the tasks assumed in the eyes of the world and its people.